Even though the Shuswap has voted Liberal since the ’96 provincial election, B.C. Premier Christy Clark isn’t taking anything for granted.
While the writ has yet to drop, the premier made a brief stop by the newspaper’s office Thursday morning to promote Shuswap BC Liberal candidate Greg Kyllo.
“This is a riding where it’s always been a close fight,” said Clark, noting how current MLA George Abbott has put the area on the map with millions in hospital, school and college improvements.
“But more important, I think, what we’ve done is we’ve really worked hard to secure the economy here,” said Clark, who brought Kyllo along for the interview. “With Greg, as someone who is a really prominent, well known, very successful business person, I think we’ve got a real opportunity to communicate how important growing our economy is to the province.
“I’m a passionate supporter of Greg Kyllo and I absolutely want him to get elected.”
Asked about the importance of bringing new faces into the Liberal fold, Clark said every party going into an election benefits from new eyes and fresh thinking, particularly of those “engaged in the economy.”
“What often happens is you get causative in Victoria and you’re not dealing in economy… You’re not putting people to work on a daily basis and meeting a bottom line and trying to balance a budget and those kinds of things,” said Clark.
“So it’s really important to bring some new faces in and Greg is one of our star candidates.”
Regarding the challenges the premier has been facing of late, scandals involving government interference or use of the public purse for partisan affairs, the premier’s message stayed positive, citing what the government has accomplished in terms of job creation and economic growth, and moving back to a balanced budget.
“Not everything has been perfect for 12 years, for heaven’s sake, government’s made mistakes,” said Clark. “But we’ve sure gotten the big things right in growing the economy across the province, keeping taxes low, balancing our budget, which wasn’t easy to do. It took a lot of tough decisions to get there.”
Another point stressed by the premier is that voters will know exactly who she is and what she stands for when they go to the polls in May.
“This election is going to be about leadership… And leadership is about telling people where you stand and I am very clear with people where I stand and not everybody agrees with me. I get that and I accept it,” said Clark.
Kyllo, who takes leave of his duties as a District of Sicamous councillor on April 18, says he is confident in both the B.C. government and Clark, who played a big part in his decision to transition from municipal to political politics.
“We were down in Vancouver a few weeks ago for some campaign training and all the returning MLAs were there and all the new candidates, and there’s a great group of new strong candidates. I’m extremely excited about working under Christy’s leadership in the next government,” says Kyllo.